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I am Fish, You are Fish

February 12, 2010 by Twyla

TwylaTwyla Kowalenko visited with us at the Ashram this Christmas for the Celebration of Light where she took time to look at her life in the Light. After swimming in the Fish pose she emerged with new insights that she will put into action in her life in Toronto.  Her story is a reminder of the power of the Yogic Teachings to heal those who are willing to dive into the ocean and shine the Light into the darkness.

There is no doubt in my mind that there has been a lot of internal shifting and growth since I first visited the Ashram in October 2008.  A great amount of my work and focus since taking the Yoga Development Course (YDC) last year has been on overcoming my negativity in all its permutations.  As I followed the road back to Toronto, it was sharing the Light, creating community, and dance that helped me stay more positive even when the old patterns came knocking on the door.

In the beginning, it took conscious effort to catch my negative thinking and transform it with Light. I have been searching for the hidden gifts within all that I was given, especially the hardships. One example of this was losing my mother in 1999.  I finally recognised during the YDC that although she was no longer physically in my life, her beautiful qualities were still abundantly present and I am grateful as I  now find them all around me.

Recently, I became aware that I am actually making in-roads to changing my thought patterns.  Last month I broke a very special wrist mala I had received from two people who have been sources of light on my path.  I was with friends who showed sympathy, but I responded by saying “Well no, it’s actually a good thing! There is obviously something I need to look at and rearrange in my life and rebuilding the mala will give me a great opportunity to do that!” As I restrung the beads, I was reminded of the cyclical nature of life and also that I already have the pieces I need within it; it’s about finding the right places for them. Observing that I am able to more consistently view these elements in a positive light has been a key component to sustaining my faith in my journey and knowing the Light is guiding me.

Despite the internal changes that are very clear to me, they have not manifested in my external circumstances. I decided to visit the Ashram over the winter holidays to gain clarity and make a plan for action as I stepped into the new year. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I knew that I was definitely ready and open for it.

Twyla Kowalenko: MatsyasanaMy insight began in one of my first few early morning Hatha classes. One day I looked around and saw the room filled with a forest of trees, the next day with a sea of fish. “We are all trees!  We are all fish!” I thought. I have spent my life focusing on the differences, constantly comparing myself to everyone around me, telling myself I am not as good as them, becoming my own worst enemy. I realized that despite having integrated more Light into my interpretation of the world around me, I have not afforded the same compassion and positivity to myself, thereby blocking the manifestation of support in my life. What a feat it would be to be able to bestow the same kindness upon myself as I do for others!

New Year’s Eve offered me an exciting opportunity to find a new starting point. There was a Soiree (aka a talent show) at the Ashram and I decided I would sing a song I wrote called ‘I am fish, you are fish, we are fish’ (inspired by my Hatha experience). Now understand I have never sung for people, much less a song of my own composition.  Singing before others was a first step in battling the inner bully (who I’ve decided to call Betsy). Betsy sure wanted to grab a hold of me as soon as I sang the last note but I sat down with my journal and gave her a serious scolding. I told her, “I want to sing! I’m sick of running away because you instill fear in me and tell me I don’t belong.  I’m going to keep singing and I’m not going to let you stop me!”

This year I definitely intend to keep singing and have made a resolution to do just that! Through my commitment to daily writing and singing, I can keep reminding myself that we are all fish, that we are all manifestations of one Light. It was a powerful insight to see and appreciate my mother’s grace within those around me and now is the time to finally see her Light within me. Only then can I allow it to fully shine.

1 Comment »

  1. Twyla,
    This is a wonderful reminder to be vigilant in my efforts to watch my mind and keep replacing my dark and harmful thoughts with ones of light and love.

    My bully tries to attack me too!
    I think I’ll take your example and try telling him/her off in my journal!!

    Comment by Vivek — February 13, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

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